Bruno, Richard L(ouis) 1954-

views updated

BRUNO, Richard L(ouis) 1954-

PERSONAL: Born November 19, 1954, in Englewood, NJ; son of Louis Sebastian and Linda (Ross) Bruno; married Nancy M. Frick, May 28, 1983. Education: Springfield College, B.A., 1977; Yeshiva University, Ph.D., 1981. Politics: Independent. Religion: Buddhist. Hobbies and other interests: "Buddhism, music composition, portrait painting."

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Post Polio Institute, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, 350 Engle St., Englewood, NJ 07631. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Psychophysiologist. New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, clinical research scientist, 1978-81; Columbia University, New York, fellow, 1981-84; College of Physicians and Surgeons, clinical research coordinator, faculty of medicine, 1984-88; Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, East Orange, NJ, director of post-polio rehabilitation and research service; Harvest Center, Hackensack, NJ, president; New Jersey Medical School, assistant professor. International Post-Polio Task Force, chair, 1984—; Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, associate professor; Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, NJ, director of Post-Polio Institute and International Center for Post-Polio Education and Research. Consultant and adviser to U.S. government and to international groups.

MEMBER: American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, American Psychological Association, Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeed-back, Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, International Organization of Psychophysiology (charter member), New Jersey Psychological Association, Society for Psychophysiological Research.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from J. M. Foundation, 1982, Joel Leff Foundation, 1983-84, 1992-93, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, 1993, George Ohl Foundation, 1990-2003, CFIDS Association of America, 1999-2000, and Schwarz Family Foundation; New Jersey Pride Award in Health; honorary doctorate from Springfield College; John Stanley Coulter Memorial lecturer.


The Polio Paradox: Uncovering the Hidden History of Polio to Understand and Treat "Post-Polio Syndrome" and Chronic Fatigue, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Post-Polio Sequelae Monograph Series, Harvest Press (Hackensack, NJ), 1996-2002.

Contributor to medical journals, including Disability and Society, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Neurology, American Journal of Medicine, and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences; author of syndicated column; contributing editor to New Mobility; editor of Orthopedics, 1985, 1991. Contributing writer to and Total Access.

WORK IN PROGRESS: How to Stop Being Vampire Bait: Your Personal Stress-Annhilation Program.

SIDELIGHTS: Richard L. Bruno is a clinical psychophysiologist and author who specializes in the treatment of pain, fatigue, stress, and post-polio sequelae (PPS). It has been discovered that decades after having had polio, many survivors experience overwhelming fatigue, pain in in muscles and joints, cold intolerance, back, neck, and head pain, muscle weakness, and difficulty sleeping, breathing, swallowing, and concentrating. These symptoms are caused by the failure and death of overworked brain activating system and motor neurons that were damaged by polio.

Bruno has been studying PPS since the 1980s, and his expertise has been called upon by many groups, as well as by the federal government. In The Polio Paradox: Uncovering the Hidden History of Polio to Understand and Treat "Post-Polio Syndrome" and Chronic Fatigue, Bruno provides a history, explains the physical and psychological damage caused by polio, and notes that its remnants have come back to again afflict more than half of two million polio survivors who are now in their fifties and sixties. A Publishers Weekly contributor cited with "great interest … Bruno's overview of the harsh manner in which medical professionals treated children with polio during the 1940s and '50s."

Before the development of the Salk vaccine, children often underwent painful treatments that did not work and were meanwhile encouraged to hide their disabilities and emotions. This contributed to creating Type-A overachievers who are now difficult to treat, because they find it hard to make the necessary lifestyle changes, some of which are: accepting help, new or discarded assitive devices, slowing down, and avoiding stress. Bruno, director of the Post-Polio Institute, has developed a comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment program that can alleviate PPS.

A reviewer for the Antelope Valley Polio Survivors Support Group Web site commented that The Polio Paradox "provides a blueprint for emotional and physical well-being for those who want to understand and manage chronic fatigue and pain, improve their quality of life and not just survive but thrive." The writer noted that Bruno goes beyond his study of polio, and "describes the remarkable parallels between the polio epidemics, PPS, and today's epidemics of fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)." What Bruno suspects is that people with CFS today and who were born before the discovery of the Salk vaccine in 1955, may have had a mild case of polio as children and might actually have PPS today, not CFS.

Marian Eure reviewed the book for Senior Health online, saying that she "found this to be a very fascinating book that looks at the history of a disease that was 'cured' but still affects us all. It is well written, in language that the lay reader can understand." Booklist's Lisa McCormick wrote that "Bruno's research provides intriguing evidence for a shared mechanism underlying the cause of many fatigue disorders."

Bruno told CA: that he became interested in writing because he wanted to tell the story of his patients. "My goal is for every polio survivor and health professional in the world to become knowledgeable about post-polio sequelae."



Booklist, July, 2002, Lisa McCormick, review of The Polio Paradox: Uncovering the Hidden History of Polio to Understand and Treat "Post-Polio Syndrome" and Chronic Fatigue, p. 108.

Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2002, review of The Polio Paradox, p. 86.


Antelope Valley Polio Survivors Support Group Web site, (December 3, 2002), review of The Polio Paradox.

Senior Health Web site, (July 9, 2002), Marian Eure, review of The Polio Paradox.

About this article

Bruno, Richard L(ouis) 1954-

Updated About content Print Article